tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC February 13, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
welcome to "world news." tonight, final hours. what we're learning about how whitney houston died. and that interview. the drugs. the demons. what she hoped her life would be today. and the lullaby for her daughter. ♪ i love you home invasion. a supreme court justice robbed in his home by an intruder with a machete. athens burning. buildings burned, looted. after big news about greece, money, and what this all means for the u.s. economy. private note. exactly 50 years after the first lady gave a tour -- >> -- we found that bust of washington -- >> -- we read her handwritten
notes about the change to history. good evening. as we come on the air tonight, whitney houston is on her way home. at this moment, a private plane carrying her back to the church in newark, new jersey, where it all began. her funeral expected there later this week. she started as a choir girl with a voice that rained out holy fire. becoming the super nova who would break the sound barrier again, all the while battling her drugs, her alcohol and her fear. so, what happened in the end? abc's jim avila is with us now to tell us what we've learned tonight about how whitney houston died in that hotel room at the age of 48. jim. >> reporter: diane, beverly hills police have put a hold on the autopsy results and refused to release the 911 tapes of the
call from the beverly hillen hotel here. but they have allowed the coroner's office to release whitney houston's body to her family. this, weeks before any decision on the cause of death can be reached. the l.a. county coroner released whitney houston's body today and she is on the way home to new jersey on a private jet. the autopsy complete, fluids taken for toxicology reports, but results not expected for six to eight weeks. and while sources tell abc news there were no signs of trauma or foul play on her body, no visible trace of illegal drugs, there were prescription bottles in the bathroom where houston was found in the tub. and as seen in these photos obtained by tmz, alcohol in the room, both champagne and beer. still, that's not enough evidence for medical examiners to declare a definitive cause of death. >> no matter what medications they're taking, until we run a tox and see the level and what's in the system, we're not going
to speculate. >> reporter: at the beverly hilton today, the singer's entourage moved out. sources tell abc news many are being questioned about houston's last hours. but police insist this is not a homicide investigation. >> we're conducting a death investigation and we need to be very clear about that. we do not know the cause of death. we don't know the circumstances leading up to her death. >> reporter: here's what we do know about those circumstances. thursday night whitney houston danced and partied at a hollywood night club, pictures showing her bloody and disheveled. friday, houston is seen skipping around the beverly hilton lobby, somersaulting at the pool. again her clothes in disarray and her hair wet, as she awkwardly interrupts a press interview conducted by e! television. >> she looked bad. her clothes didn't match. some people said she smelled of alcohol. >> reporter: on saturday, houston talked by phone
with her cousin and godmother dionne warwick, and her mother cissy, and minutes later went into the bathroom to prepare for a performance scheduled for the music business elite at clive davis' pre-grammy party. she died alone, her body discovered by her entourage, submerged in the tub. she was not breathing, she had no pulse, and could not be revived. ♪ i will always love you >> reporter: 24 hours later, the music industry honored her at the grammys, an award she won six times. ♪ love you >> reporter: and even today, after her sudden death, seven of the top ten albums sold on amazon.com are hers. ♪ will always >> reporter: the police and coroner's investigators do know the types of drugs that were found inside the bathroom, the prescription drugs, including valium and an antibiotic. what they don't know are the levels in her body and that of course is key, diane. >> that's right, jim. with all these unanswered questions, abc's medical editor dr. rich besser.
8 to 10 weeks till they have these tests released. >> that's a long time. the coroner's office told me 8 to 10 weeks is their standard practice but i talked to medical examiners around the country and they say the actual testing takes two to three days. add a little time to double-check that. many say they will hold the results if there's a possible criminal investigation. >> can you tell how recently she had, what amount of alcohol or anything else? >> you can tell some of that. you can tell the big causes of death. heart attack, stroke. whether there's a clot to the lung. you can see if there's been alcohol consumption recently or cocaine use recently. drug use, it depends on the particular drug. >> today earlier you were saying to me when someone of her age dies in a bathtub, that is extremely unusual. older people, younger people perhaps. but we don't know if it was drowning but the very fact of it is so unusual. >> that's right. those other groups will drown. someone who's 48, it's very rare to see drowning unless there was something else involved.
>> all right. we'll have those results and of course we'll probably learn more about them even before those 8 to 10 weeks are up. thank you, rich. and in a few minutes, we're going to bring you that interview, the one that caused so much conversation years ago. where she surprised herself by talking about drugs, her fight with what she called a devil, and what she said to me about fear, as i was leaving. and that's coming up. and in other news, this day, a startling headline. word that supreme court justice stephen breyer was robbed by an intruder armed with a machete. he was on vacation at his home in the caribbean. abc correspondent pierre thomas. >> reporter: 1700 miles off the u.s. coast is known as the postcard beautiful paradise. for u.s. supreme court justice, it became a dangerous crime scene. at 9:00 p.m. thursday night, supreme court justice breyer, his wife and house guests had their vacation stay rudely interrupted by an intruder
wielding a machete. the suspect demanded money and escaped with $1,000. no one was injured. but the incident raises serious questions about the level of security the supreme court justices have when they travel abroad. in the u.s., the justices sometime travel with armed security. today, the court refused to comment on whether breyer had a security detail with him in nevis. this is not the first time one of the justices on the nation's highest court has run into criminals. retired justice david souter was mugged by a group of men in 2004. justice ruth bader ginsburg had her purse snatched while walking near the kennedy center with her husband and daughter. tonight, the fbi's in nevis investigating. sources do not believe he was targeted but, rather, the victim of random street crime. >> a startling story to read about today. thank you very much, pierre. we turn now, also in washington, the battle brewing over the president's new budget for this country.
he unveiled it today, a record $3.8 trillion ready to be spent. what does this budget have in common with the kind of family budget americans wrestle with around the kitchen table? we asked abc's jake tapper to break it down. >> reporter: the budget the president introduced today is a 200-page way of describing his priorities. >> don't worry. i will not read it to you. it's long and a lot -- a lot of numbers. >> reporter: indeed, a lot of numbers. so, let's try it with numbers more easily understood. removing eight zeros from all the numbers so, say, the $3.8 trillion budget is actually $38,000, like a family budget. this budget would have our american family spending $38,000 while only taking in $29,000. so, our family is racking up $9,000 in new debt. and keep in mind, our family already owes $153,000 on the
credit card debt. turning back to real numbers, that's a $15 trillion national debt, a number which keeps going up year after year after year. does that seem responsible? >> we need to make sure we get it right as we move forward. and then for the medium and long term, we do the things we need to do to reduce our deficit and debt. >> somebody asked me if this budget was dead on arrival and i said, "no, no, it's not dead on arrival. it's debt on arrival." >> reporter: it is a political document, this budget, explaining the president's priorities. the budget pushes new taxes on individuals who make more than $200,000 a year and some new spending on education and energy to serve as an economic stimulus. but the document also represents a broken promise for president obama who made this pledge at the beginning of his presidency. >> today, i'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.
>> reporter: of course, this was theater to a degree, diane. the budget will not be passed because of washington dysfunction so really this is about obama setting the stage for the november election. now we go overseas to something else affecting the u.s. economy, greece, the stability of greece has a big ripple effect on what can happen here in the american recovery. the streets there, though, have been erupting in chaos and fury. as it's official, the greeks are being told how much they have to tighten their belts. abc's global affairs anchor kri christiane amanpour has that story. >> reporter: it's harsh medicine and more than 100,000 people took to the streets this weekend protesting the draconian cuts. violence and rage boiled over. at least 50 buildings torched, nearly 200 people were injured. beneath the rage is desperation.
[ speaking foreign language ]. "greece is finished," this man says, there is no hope. after living way beyond its means, with tax evasion and generous benefits a way of life, greece is now trying to avoid bankruptcy. and must tighten its belt like never before. that means slashing the minimum wage by more than a fifth. skyrocketing taxes. just imagine filling up your car for $10 a gallon. and the outlook is bleak. for young people under 25, half are without a job. suicides have increased 40% over last year. will all these cuts work? will greece be saved? >> they are nervous about greece's ability to implement this program. based open what you've seen there in the streets recently. >> reporter: if this doesn't work, the fear is the domino effects could reach across the ocean to you. and affect everything in the united states from jobs to
401ks. however, it must be said the austerity budget has caused stock markets to rally here in europe and in the u.s. still ahead on "world news," what we learned tonight from that interview where whitney houston first admitted drug use, talked about the real devil she feared, and her hope for her life. [ male announcer ] let's level the playing field. take the privileged investing tools of wall street and make them simple, intuitive, and available to all. distill all that data. make information instinctual, visual. introducing trade architect, td ameritrade's empowering web-based trading platform. take control of your portfolio today. trade commission-free for 60 days, and we'll throw in up $600 when you open an account.
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ten years ago, whitney houston and i sat down in her living room for an intense interview. it was the first time she ever admitted her drug addiction. she also told me something i'll never forget about her terror of performing. asking me as i was leaving, have you ever heard the sound of 10,000 people disappointed in you? as we said, her body is returning tonight to the church in newark, new jersey, where she first sang a solo and stunned the congregation. ♪ >> you know what i used to do, diane, i would close my eyes like this. i'd sing. i was so afraid and i'd sing. when i would open my eyes, the people would be what we call holy ghost fired out.
they would be in such spirit of praise. i think i knew then it was an n infectious thing god had given me. i didn't even date in my 20s. it was rough. it was rough. i think i kind of reverted back, as i got older. said, i'm just going to party, you know? it was kind of a rebel in me, you know? >> crack rehab fails. >> first, let's get one thing straight. crack is cheap. i make too many money to ever smoke crack. let's get that straight, okay. we don't do crack. we don't do that. crack is whack. >> is it alcohol? is it marijuana? is it cocaine? is it pills? >> it has been at times. >> all? >> at times. >> if you had to name the devil
for you, the biggest devil among them? >> that would be me. it's my deciding. it's my heart. it's what i want. and what i don't want. nobody makes me do anything i don't want to do. it's my decision. so the biggest devil is me. even my best friend and my worst enemy. and that's how i have to deal with it. >> but now do you say not at all or do you say i can -- >> well, i'm not going to tell you that. i could tell you that -- i'm not self-destructive. i'm not a person who wants to die. i'm a person who has life and wants to live. >> ten years from now -- >> yeah. >> give me the perfect life for whitney houston. >> retired.
sitting, looking at my daughter grow up, become a great woman of god. grandchildren. >> a perfect day is, like, a sunday or something like that, when we, like, like sit and, you know, we either watch tv or, like, listen to gospel music or have breakfast together. >> and what do you like about your mom's voice? >> i like her voice because it's really nice and it makes me go to sleep. >> she sings you lullabies? ♪ i love you ♪ i love you >> so, for the people out there
who say we want to help, we want to help build a barrier between her and drugs, what do you want them to pray for? >> don't pray about the drugs. leave the drugs alone. >> why, why? >> pray for me. as a person. for my soul that i'm stronger. i don't care what anybody else says i did or what they claim that was. i know i'm a child of god. and i know he loves me. jesus loves me, this i know. ♪ find your strength in love >> whitney houston and all she hoped ten years ago. and when we return here, medical news on healing your
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level of attention for detail, her passion for the project that would captivate 80 million americans watching at home. >> when we first came here and started searching for old things, we found a pier table in the carpenter shop where it was being used as a saw horse. so, we took six weeks to restore it. and then in the men's room downstairs, we found that bust of washington. these two pieces are exactly where monroe had them in the room, which we also learned from studying old engravings. oh, the white house television tour. he used to watch all the time. he was so sweet, the way he was proud of me. i tell you, one wonderful thing about him, i was really, i was never any different once i was in the white house than i was before. but suddenly, everything that had been a liability before suddenly became wonderful. and i was so happy for jack that he could be proud of me then.
because, you know, it made him so happy. it made me so happy. so, those were our happiest years. >> and 50 years ago. and we thank you for watching tonight. we're always at abcnews.com. "nightline" later. more on whitney houston's death. the last people to work with her. the story behind her most famous song. and we'll see you right back here tomorrow. . ♪ [ male announcer ] for our families... our neighbors...
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